Sunday, 2 October 2022

8x8 (10. 187)

vendedores ambulantes: the sonic landscape and signature cries (see also) of the street vendors of Ciudad de Mรฉxico—via tmn  

from erdapfel to equator: a globemaker’s glossary of cartographic terms—via the Map Room  

queenhithe: photographer Frank Merton captures London’s churches in the mid-1950s  

anti-cyclone: a proposal to tow a barge laden with jet engines blasting to dissipate the strength of an oncoming hurricane  

hyla orientalis: black tree frogs in Chernobyl demonstrate evolution in real time—via Slashdot 

blogoversary: a belated congratulations to Diamond Geezer on twenty years of posting   

the feral atlas: a journey of discovery and triangulation through our made environments from Stanford University and via Web Curios  

tlaltecuhtli: the iconography of the Aztec pantheon

Sunday, 25 September 2022

♆ (10. 166)

Capturing the best images of that last known planet, king Neptune, before plunging into the endlessly, inky interstellar void that we’ve been witness to in the past three decades since Voyager 2’s 1989 fly-by, through the JWST we discover that there is a lot happening in this distant, icy constellation. Far distant from the shepherding satellites that keep the brilliant ring in place, the seemingly bright star is the rogue moon Triton, appearing so dazzling due to the highly reflective composition of its surface. Much more to explore at Bad Astronomy with Phil Platt at the link up top.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

down in the underground (10. 155)

Via Boing Boing, we are referred to a curator of one of our own, older obsessions—manhole covers in this site that has meticulous catalogued, though far from complete, these manifestations of the extensive infrastructure of suburbia, numbering over eight thousand examples from over five hundred cities all across the globe.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

6x6 (10. 151)

teenage rampage: 70s sing-a-long pop was edgier than one thought   

on tyranny: twenty lesson on unfreedom and defending democracy

heptominos: geometric magic squares from Lee Sallows—see also

cross-hatched: dozens of security envelope patterns  

quiet quitting: these scenes of office drudgery are a form of protest

rainbow quest: Pete Seeger’s 1960s folk music television show

Sunday, 18 September 2022

the followers (10. 147)

Via the morning news, we discover that artist Dries Depoorter has triangulated the open surveillance of public spaces and a respectable social media viewership with the help of artificial intelligence to match poses in front of a range of landmarks with their sidling up to it and perfecting their casual-seeming pose. Confounding this perfectly staged moment with the apparent necessity of monitoring share-worthy sites speaks volumes to our definition and expectation of privacy tempered by desire for curation and what it is like to be spotted, caught.

boardwalks, beaches and boulevards (10. 146)

Prominent and influential street photographer and educator, Harold Feinstein (1931 - 2015) had an enduring attraction to New York at the community of Coney Island where he was born. Thanks to a Redditor, we are introduced to Feinstein’s extensive portfolio through one composition that frames those perched above Brighton Beach as musical notation. Feinstein’s work also enjoyed commercial ubiquity, IKEA’s White Rose poster (see also) being one of the most widely distributed homeware artistic photos. Much more to explore at the links above.

 

earth below us (10. 144)

Launched just two weeks prior—and two weeks after its twin probe Voyager 2—Voyager I was able to look back and capture a composite image of the Earth and the Moon in the same frame on this day in 1977—see also here and here. The craft, though carrying payloads for the ages for some far flung intelligence to discover, were expected to only have active missions for a period of five years yet are still transmitting and even dispatching the occasional tweet over four decades later. 

 

Saturday, 17 September 2022

7x7 (10. 141)

jezero: Perseverance explores a Martian crater  

lingthusiasm: an interview with xkcd author Randall Munroe on hypothetical questions about language and orthography—via Language Log  

achievement unlocked: a radical redesign for Girl Scout badges—see also  

3½, 5¼: an interview with the last purveyor of floppy disks—via JWZ  

emoticons: more on the IPA, EPA (English Phonotypic Alphabet), Issac Pitman and other champions of spelling reform from Shady Characters  

jazz and cats: the life and surrealistic art of Gertrude Abercrombie  

earth below us: outstanding images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

Monday, 12 September 2022

beachcomber (10. 128)

Via the always engaging Everlasting Blรถrt, we are reacquainted with the photorealistic painting of Philip Barlow with this end-of-summer, evocative series of studies in bokeh entitled Beach. Malleable and dreamy without seeming intentionally vague, one can really insert a range of characters and settings into these images—more to discover at the links above.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

8x8 (10. 124)

the girl from ipanema: the Yahoo! GeoCities (previously) Midi project has gathered a collection of over one-hundred and fifty thousand chiptunes, via Web Curios  

summer island: a graphic horror novella that’s a collaboration between a story authored by a human and illustrations courtesy a machine 

bill-of-sale: receipts and letterhead of the Old East End  

null island: the imaginary location at the intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian (see previously) that exists by necessity  

premium vector: a selection of 90s cursor effects (trails, rainbows) that can be incorporated into one’s website—via ibฤซdem  

trichromacy: fascinating etymologies of words for colours—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

b-poty: avian photography of the year  

pattern recognition: more on mondegreens and misheard lyrics

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

gorbymania (10. 101)

We’ve been familiar with Mikhail Gorbachev’s extended second career after the imminent statesman withdrew from political life—at least in an official capacity—and recall the Pizza Hut advertisement from years ago. This selection of international cameos, however, included one role—that of brand ambassador for a luxury goods maker, expertly photographed by Anne Leibovitz. Gorbachev is seated in the rear of a sedan, driving parallel to the remnants of the Berlin Wall that he helped to dismantle (the campaign reflective of one of his more quotable sayings) and pictured with the classic brown bag—which we weren’t familiar with. Though beautifully framed, the 2007 ad seems rather innocuous until upon close inspection, on top of the bag is a magazine with the headline: Litvineko’s Murder—They Wanted to Surrender Suspect for $7000. Alexander Litvineko was the former KGB spy and defector who was poisoned by polonium and died the year before, publicly accusing Vladimir Putin as the responsible party. Now with Gorbachev’s passing, questions linger whether or not he himself was privy to this subversive subtext.

Monday, 22 August 2022

wish you weren’t here (10. 079)

Via Things Magazine, we are directed to a quite repulsive, compelling masters thesis from Natacha de Mahieu on overtourism that explores not only the growing chasm between social media and reality but about the performative instincts that have emerged as the leading edge of sharing society like a prisoner’s dilemma especially when we think that no one is watching, aptly titled Theatre of AuthenticityThis representative image of the lone national park in Portugal, Peneda-Gerรชs, properly radicalises me as we together use these composite photos taken over the course of an hour help us reconcile and resolve our own conflicts over travel and picture-taking and quite as the most jarring staging and unreality of nature’s quiet spots but rather for its backstory, de Mahie relating that she had to rig up her camera to take this shot remotely since otherwise people would politely stand out of frame to allow her to take her perfect souvenir. What do you think? Have you experienced such disconnect and struggle to create the illusion of leisure and discovery? I can understand the urge to want to see, experience something pristine before it’s all lost to our bad stewardship of the planet and feel some sympathy for those vying for one last pose. Much more at the links above.

7x7 (10. 078)

ultima generazione: climate activist glue themselves to the Vatican’s Laocoรถn  

little gold statue special: MST3K’s take on the 1995 Oscars 

larder and pantry: photographer Richard Johnson’s compelling series on root cellars–via Everlasting Blรถrt 

a garbler of spices: an eighteenth century specialised position 

canting arms: heraldic rebuses to puzzle 

biblioclasm: to combat book bans and censorship, the Brooklyn Public Library is issuing free cards to all US adolescents  

yangtze: drought in China reveals ancient statues of the Buddha normally submerged–see also here and here–and is also causing shortages in hydroelectric production

Friday, 19 August 2022

picture-perfect (10. 072)

On this day 1839 following assurances of a lifetime’s pension for himself and business partner Nicรฉphore Niรฉpce and a seat on the National Academy of Design, the government of France published the complete technical details of the daguerreotype process—previously withheld over fears of others counterfeiting the process or stealing credit for the research and experimentation of set building, background painter and inventor of the diorama Louis-Jacques-Mandรฉ Daguerre—gifting it “free to the world.”

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

7x7 (10. 021)

from zero to five thousand: the exponential growth in the discovery of exoplanets since 1991 until the present


verdissement d’image: newly ascribed French vocabulary on climate demonstrates the language’s malleability

thebandwashere: decade‘s plus project by photographer Steven Burnbaum to overlay musicians and venues

necroborics: scientists exploit the hydraulic limbs of dead spiders 

test kitchen: thousands of emoji mash-up permutations—via Waxy 

the odaae: Oxford press publishes a dictionary of African American English  
 
recolte se fรฉr: raging wild fires across Europe setting off unexploded ordinances from World War I

Friday, 15 July 2022

hanoi jane

On this day in 1972, American activist and actor Jane Fonda was visiting Hanoi to survey the damage that bombing campaigns were having on civilian infrastructure—specifically the dams used to mitigate flooding by the Red River—and was photographed afterwards seated on a North Vietnamese Army anti-aircraft battery. The pictures were first published by a Polish newspaper before circulating widely and effectively ostracising Fonda from the entertainment industry and whilst pride for speaking out against the war was regretful over the bad optics of a momentary lapse of judgment that was both galvanising for those predisposed to hostility and jingoism and propaganda for the other side.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

and her name was veronica

Also known as Berenike (Greek for the Bearer of Victory) the non-canonical saint is feted on this day according to pious traditions. Patroness of launderers and photographers, Veronica (from the Latin and Greek portmanteau of true plus ฮตฮนฮบฯŒฮฝ, icon—image) was in the crowd witnessing a condemned Jesus bearing his cross to Calvary and moved with sympathy offered her veil for Jesus to wipe his brow. Accepting the small kindness, Jesus returned the piece of fabric which now bore a miraculous image of his face—a story celebrated in the Sixth Station of the Cross and revered as a relic, the Vernicle or Sudarium (Latin for Sweat-Cloth). Following the extra-biblical story, Veronica is said to have gone to Rome afterwards and presented the veil to Emperor Tiberius. Reputed to quench thirst, cure blindness and raise the dead, the image became part and parcel of the Arma Christi (the traditional instruments of the Passion) in the eleventh century, there are four contenders for the Veil, one in Saint Peter’s, one in the Hofburg and two held at separate monasteries in Spain.

Sunday, 10 July 2022

8x8

can i pet your dog: a short-lived 1971 talk show, The Pet Set, hosted by Betty White  

particle zoo 2.0: revved up Large Hadron Collider discovers three new exotic quark-pairings—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

plastic mero: artwork installed on a beach in Funchal crafted on salvaged ocean waste speaks to the plight of the Atlantic goliath grouper and fellow fish 

onomatopoeia: a collection of nonsense words invented by bird-watchers to convey calls and songs 

gol gumbaz: a resplendent seventeenth century mausoleum in Bijapur is called the Taj Mahal of Southern India  

denton, denton you’ve got no pretension: a photoessay of the Texas city in the 1970s  

gravitational waltz: tracing the orbits of stars near super-massive black hole Sgr A* (previously)  

golden girls 3033: BoJack Horseman director Mike Hollingsworth creates an animated pilot using splices of original dialogue

Thursday, 7 July 2022

8x8

did someone say beveragino: the rise of the hun culture and naff couture 

to california and back again: more on the prolific, pioneering photographer Lora Webb Nichols (previously)—via Messy Nessy Chic  

satanic panic: the enigmatic Guidestones monument (previously) in the US state of Georgia was demolished following blast  

rats, sinking ship, you know the drill: a tranche of key minister and secretaries leave the Johnson government, demand his resignation  

ฮผฮตฮปฮนฯ„ฮถฮฌฮฝฮฑ: entrepreneurs from the island of Crete produce a promotional video to boost candied eggplant sales 

shift happens: modifier keys and more on the history and development of keyboards, via Waxy 

baade’s window: a selection of superlative photographs of the Milky Way for the Star Festival 

poolboy: more rosรฉwave playlists from NPR

Sunday, 3 July 2022

8x8

el vehรญculo compartido: personal aerial shots by photographer Alex Cartagena in pickup truck beds reveal the hidden lives of day labourers off-duty  

skate expectations: concrete sculptural parks by Amir Zaki—via Present /&/ Correct 

rosรฉwave: a playlist from NPR to invoke relaxed summer afternoon vibes

press key when ready: the 1985 British children’s sci-fi series The Whizz 

i am your atypical neighbour: in an exhibit, Her Window, artist Dayu Ouyang broadcasts bold statements from her bedroom’s view  

hot slot: the escapingly small feasibility that Jeff Goldblum could have uploaded a computer virus to alien technology and win Independence Day plus other dei ex machinis  

friend-shoring: reprioritising globalisation and a metallic NATO to ensure critical rare-earths supply chains are kept viable  

a rising tide lifts all boats: laid out in a grid meant to resemble brain coral from above and protected by the sinking atoll, the Maldives is building an ingenious floating city that will rise with the oceans as perhaps a model for other threatened communities